Biological significance of nanograined/ultrafine-grained structures: Interaction with fibroblasts
Given the need to develop high strength/weight ratio bioimplants with enhanced cellular response, we describe here a study focused on the processing–structure–functional property relationship in austenitic stainless steel that was processed using an ingenious phase reversion approach to obtain an nanograined/ultrafine-grained (NG/UFG) structure. The cellular activity between fibroblast and NG/UFG substrate is compared with the coarse-grained (CG) substrate. A comparative investigation of NG/UFG and CG structures illustrated that cell attachment, proliferation, viability, morphology and spread are favorably modulated and significantly different from the conventional CG structure. These observations were further confirmed by expression levels of vinculin and associated actin cytoskeleton. Immunofluorescence studies demonstrated increased vinculin concentrations associated with actin stress fibers in the outer regions of the cells and cellular extensions on NG/UFG substrate. These observations suggest enhanced cell–substrate interaction and activity. The cellular attachment response on NG/UFG substrate is attributed to grain size and hydrophilicity and is related to more open lattice in the positions of high-angle grain boundaries.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 6, Issue 8, August 2010, Pages 3339–3348